Forty Acres of Farm Land in America is Lost to Development Every Hour

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Originally posted on

Written by Brian Barth

There’s a movement afoot to convert conservation land trusts into new farmer incubators.

Picture bulldozers plowing up pastures and cornfields to put in subdivisions and strip malls. Add to this picture the fact that the average age of the American farmer is nearly 60 — it’s often retiring farmers that sell to real estate developers. They can afford to pay much more for property than aspiring young farmers.

Alarmed by this trend, environmentalists back in the 1970s developed the idea to pay retiring farmers to preserve their land in a natural state rather than sell out to real estate developers.

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